In recent years, the passenger load on Mumbai’s suburban rail system grew more than eight times,
while train capacity grew about three times. Mumbai’s local trains carry bout 7.5 million passengers
every day,packed.
Thousands of office goers make a mad rush for the bridge as soon as they alight from the train. This
happens day in and day out,something that i experience myself in my everyday commute to office.
I am sure i’m not the only person who has been left fearful after the daily experience.
It’s the same story for millions, mostly professionals.
The coaches are so crowded, especially during peak hours, that fights are common.
Commuters often push their way into the trains by throwing themselves forward and inevitably
onto the person in front of them. This obviously leads to fights.
Some arguments end soon but others can go on until one of the parties get off the train.
The verbal abuse can also turn physical, with people pushing, slapping or even pulling each other’s
hair.
There have also been times when i have hung onto the foot board of the train, trying to push my way
into the coach that was already packed. I had to scream to ask the women ahead of me to keep
moving in so that I and other women also partly hanging out of the train could get inside.
Another challenge is that people have to board trains before they stop. I always timed my jump
leaping inside the coach and grabbing the handle of the door or the arm of another commuter to
steady myself.
How you feel about such grueling train travel depends on how you think about it.You could either
love it or hate it. It taught me to be more tolerant and patient. These journeys bring people from
different backgrounds together every day and they share a common goal: To reach their destination
on time and alive.